Japanese television is quite out there. Japanese peoples humour can be more about emphasis or exaggeration rather than someone doing stand up comedy by themselves.
If you watch any programme on the television from 6 pm in Japan you will definitely come across:
- A quiz show with an enormous cash prize featuring celebrities
- A “challenge” show with an outrageous penalty for celebrities or an extravagant cash prize for the winners.
- Shows that talk about strange or funny news from various different countries
- A show gathering viewers embarrassing or strange experiences they have had so tv personalities can add insight or make fun (to be quite honest).
The sets for a lot of these programmes have flashing lightbulbs or vibrant backgrounds and always a live audience. However, audience participation is quite minimal and rare as not many viewers find those interactions interesting.
You will almost never come across stand up comedians who aren’t wearing shocking face makeup or aren’t shouting their jokes for emphasis (this isn’t necessarily negative). In the western world, most comedians show up in a suit or something casual, not really any heavy makeup or face paint. On television in Japan, many people find it funny when people shout their joke or catchphrases. A lot of the humour here is visual and exaggerated. Sometimes tv comedians hit each other, jokingly, on the head.
Some of the penalties on these programmes are a bit too much sometimes, in my opinion. They are either painful, disgusting or slightly inappropriate. It can range from dumping a massive bucket full of slime on a celebrities head to eating a cooked cicada (the insect) or even a cockroach.
Japanese television is wild, and drastically different from western television.
Have you ever seen a Japanese television program? What did you think?